For many homeowners, a lush green lawn is something to achieve, maintain and take pride in. A healthy lawn looks good and feels good to walk and play in. It’s also good for the environment. When your lawn is well maintained it can improve air quality, generate oxygen, provide erosion and runoff control, water purification, and can even reduce heat in your yard by 20 to 30 degrees. By taking care of your lawn, you’ll benefit from these perks and so will the environment. Win-win! One of the best ways to keep your grass healthy right down to its roots is to fertilize, and fall is a great season to do so. Read on to learn why fall is the best season to fertilize your lawn and everything else you need to know to get your fall lawn care started.
Using a fall fertilizer
Your soil supplies some of the necessary nutrients your lawn needs to stay healthy, but it isn’t always able to provide enough to support your lawn during the entire growing season. This is where fertilizer comes in. Fertilizer helps out by:
Replacing nutrients lost through rain, irrigation, leaching, and plant removal
Promoting root growth
Controlling and eliminating weeds
Advancing regrowth from foot traffic and pest damage
It’s important to choose the right type of fertilizer for your grass type, the region you live in, and the season you’re using it in – in this case, fall. Fall is a welcome season for lawns after the stress of summer heat may have stunted growth. This is a great season to fertilize your lawn because:
Cooler temperatures put less stress on lawn growth, giving grass the chance to rebuild its strength before winter
Morning dew formed during the fall provides moisture that helps turf absorb the fertilizer
Fall fertilizing helps grass develop a thick and deep root system to better survive winter weather
When preparing your fall lawn, consider testing your soil for pH and composition. Testing your soil will give you a better idea of which fertilizer ingredients will work best for your lawn. You’ll want a pH as close to neutral as you can to get, so the fertilizer you use should bring you to this balance. For composition, look for fertilizers with a high percentage of nitrogen, which promotes growth. When to apply fertilizer will vary based on your region’s frost season. A good time to fertilize your lawn is typically two to three weeks before the ground freezes. This will usually be mid-October. The best time of day to fertilize is in the morning or early evening when warmer daytime temperatures won’t hinder the fertilizer’s strength. Prep your lawn for fertilizing by mowing it right before. This will give you a clean slate to work with as it removes excess lawn waste and exposes the soil, allowing the fertilizer to work more efficiently. Make sure there won’t be any heavy rain after your fertilizer is applied. Rain will cause runoff, which will wash away the fertilizer. Check the forecast before you fertilize. If it rained recently, make sure the grass is completely dry before fertilizing.
Applying your fertilizer
Now that you know the makeup of your soil and the best fertilizer ingredients to use for it, as well as when to apply it and how to prepare for it, you’re ready for application. Fertilizer can be applied to your lawn by either a liquid application or a granular application. Liquid fertilizer is:
Diluted in water to spread over your lawn with an applicator
Fast acting, results may appear within a few weeks
Often cheaper than other applications
At a higher risk of leaching if applied in high doses
In need of more applications than granular but too many applications can ruin the lawn
Granular fertilizer is:
Recommended for most homeowners
Applied using a rotary spreader
Absorbed by the soil at a slower rate, extending its effects
Not needing to be applied as often as liquid
Less chance of fertilizer leaching out of the soil, so there is a less chance that too much fertilizer will ruin the lawn
Whichever application type is right for your lawn, make sure you know how to apply it correctly for the best results. It may only be the start of fall, but now is the time to think about taking care of your lawn so that it lasts all year long. If you’re in need of some fall lawn care, we’ve got you covered. Schedule a service with us today!
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